July 19, 2021

How Businesses Can Thrive In a Competitive Job Market

What a year it has been for employers and employees alike! In the summer of 2020, we were deep into a pandemic that had brought on worldwide shutdowns and massive layoffs. Workers were scrambling to find jobs when many companies were simply not hiring. Many months have passed and today, businesses and individuals alike have settled in and the job market is booming! Companies are hiring again and workers who were previously afraid to leave their jobs now feel comfortable seeking new opportunities. Some are calling it The Great Resignation.

In the grand scheme of things, a healthy job market is a good thing. Unless, that is, you’re a business owner or manager who is seeing some of your best workers leave for better opportunities. In that case, you’re faced with two key challenges:

  1. Maintaining your best workers
  2. Minimizing the strife turnover causes on your organization

We are experiencing an economic boom that can’t be dealt with like previous ones. Here are some tips for leaders to help your organization thrive during The Great Resignation.

Treat Hourly Employees Better

Today’s job market is especially competitive for hourly workers. Restaurants, recreation, entertainment and construction are just a few industries that are scrambling to retain and recruit workers in today’s job market. You’ve probably noticed that just about every fast-food restaurant has a “Now Hiring” sign out front and many pools have had to close or cut hours due to a lifeguard shortage. Healthcare workers are resigning as they reach their breaking point and construction was one of the few industries that didn’t take a massive hit during the pandemic. So, what can you do to retain your best workers?

Better scheduling leads to better work-life balance
Start by listening to their complaints and acting upon them. Unpredictable, frequently changing or inflexible schedules are a common complaint amongst hourly workers. It’s hard to make long-term plans when you only know your work schedule a few weeks in advance. In fact, one of TCP’s Humanity Scheduling customers implemented better scheduling processes that workers reported improved their overall work-life balance. I’m proud to share that this change created a win-win for managers and employees alike.

Training & new tools help retain workers
Are skilled workers leaving for better opportunities? Well, why aren’t YOU offering them those better opportunities? Offer paid training for skills workers are looking to develop. It costs far less to train a current employee for a new or better role than it does to find a few one. Are employees complaining they don’t have the tools needed to do their best work? Investing in software and equipment can be essential to retaining skilled workers. Wondering how you can afford investments like these? You may be able to use CARES and ARPA funds for these types of purchases.

Bonuses help you stand out from the competition
Many fast-food restaurants are struggling to fill open positions. You may have noticed this in the amount of time you wind up waiting in the drive-thru line. Restaurants and retailers are hiring on the spot and offer on-the-job training, but still aren’t generating enough interest. Burger King and many others are addressing this challenge by offering a hefty sign-on bonus for their most needed roles. These offers start at $500 and are becoming table stakes for many hourly workers in certain roles.

Employee Experience Matters More than Ever Before

We’ve all talked about the “return to business as usual,” but what does that really look like? Chances are, many of your employees don’t want to go back to the way things were before. Which pandemic-related business policies will stay and which will go? Talk to employees and managers, then review workforce and productivity data before you simply try to return to business as usual. It’s important to assess how this will impact both your workforce and your business.

Handle turnover without falling apart
Despite your best efforts to keep employees happy, turnover is an unavoidable part of running a business. But when key workers are leaving and your regrettable attrition numbers are on the rise, you’ve got to minimize the strife this causes on your business. Start by documenting processes in roles with high turnover. Whether it’s a worker on a week’s vacation or if a shift manager resigns without notice, documentation helps ensure continuity.

Common onboarding tools prep workers for success
You can further ensure business continuity by offering common onboarding and development tools, processes and documentation. When every employee begins with the same training, they are prepared to hit the ground running. No matter how desperate you are for help, throwing a new employee into the fray and forcing them to drink from the metaphorical firehose is not the key to success.

Is your organization poised for success or strife during The Great Resignation? By focusing on retaining your best workers, recruiting in a competitive market and continuity in the employee experience, your business can be on the road to success.